Maternal Immune Activation Causes Behavioral Impairments and Altered Cerebellar Cytokine and Synaptic Protein Expression

Gurudutt N Pendyala, Shinnyi Chou, Yoosun Jung, Pierluca Coiro, Elizabeth Spartz, Ragunathan Padmashri, Ming Li, Anna Dunaevsky-Hutt

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19 Scopus citations


Emerging epidemiology studies indicate that maternal immune activation (MIA) resulting from inflammatory stimuli such as viral or bacterial infections during pregnancy serves as a risk factor for multiple neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. Although alterations in the cortex and hippocampus of MIA offspring have been described, less evidence exists on the impact on the cerebellum. Here, we report altered expression of cytokines and chemokines in the cerebellum of MIA offspring, including increase in the neuroinflammatory cytokine TNFα and its receptor TNFR1. We also report reduced expression of the synaptic organizing proteins cerebellin-1 and GluRδ2. These synaptic protein alterations are associated with a deficit in the ability of cerebellar neurons to form synapses and an increased number of dendritic spines that are not in contact with a presynaptic terminal. These impairments are likely contributing to the behavioral deficits in the MIA exposed offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1435-1446
Number of pages12
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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